Monday, January 21, 2013

Kalumpit seedlings on Sale!

Yes, Kalumpit (Terminalia microcarpa) seedlings are available now!  (Limited stocks)

For more info, please type "Kalumpit" at search box and read from previous blog posts or simply email at tristanasuncion@yahoo.com

Monday, November 5, 2012

Antipolo seedlings available now!

Local name:  Antipolo
Scientific name:  Artocarpus blancoi
Family:  Moraceae

Antipolo seedlings are about a foot (1ft) tall.  Mother tree is from Laguna area and about 30-40 meters tall and about 1.5 meter diameter. 

*For more information, pls. email me at tristanasuncion@yahoo.com or call or text me at 09178834691.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Discovering PAHIYAS.

Barely 2 1/2 hours of sleep and I arrived at my cousin's house in Mandaluyong, Manila at about 12:30am. A few minutes after, we set off towards Lucban, Quezon to attend the famous "Pahiyas" festival, which meant "precious offering" as a thankful gesture for previous bountiful harvest held annually. The early departure was suppose to avoid traffic from the influx of festival goers and be able to park our vehicle near the festival venue as according to my cousin, particular town streets were going to be closed off at a later time to prevent further traffic and congestion in the area. There was no traffic and we passed by the newly opened SLEX (South Luzon Expressway) extension heading Sto. Tomas, Batangas in order to take advantage of this alternative route, plus the fact that we were not familiar to the much shorter Liliw, Laguna route via Calamba-Los Banos-Bay-Calauan.

After 3 1/2 hours, about 4:00am, two of my cousins including their family were able to settle down. We parked the car within the parking area of the Lucban church and waited until 6am to hear mass, since it was a Sunday. By this time, the sun was just beginning to rise. A short drizzle added to the cold breeze that enveloped the area. Soon the mass started and we all could barely keep our eyes open. I felt like I was going to drop and hit my head from the front or rear pew. I could hear occasional giggles from the back. I just ignored them because maybe they were laughing at something else and I didn't want to get paranoid about it. It's a good thing that I didn't succumb to the urge.

After hearing mass, we bought a few dozen of the famous Lucban longganisa sausage and headed for Buddy's restaurant to have our breakfast of pancit habhab (sauteed noodles with mixed vegetables and shrimp served on a banana leaf without utensils), Lucban longganisa and for me a lumpiang gulay (stir fried vegetables and other ingredients wrapped in crepe-like wrapper served with a sauce and sprinkled with peanuts). Outside the restaurant was the town plaza, which will hold the venue for a television program, according to my cousin. But what really caught my attention was the presence of Kamagong (Diospyros discolor) trees that lined between the plaza and the street. Not only were some trees laden with hairy red-orange fruits called "Mabolo", otherwise known as Velvet apple, but the trees were blanketed with moss, ferns, lichens and probably hoya and orchid species. The scene reminded me of the mossy forest, places with high elevation and moist and cool climate.

We then walked one or two blocks away and soon arrived at the street where people seemed to be congregating. I noticed that the houses on that particular street were completely covered with an assortment of indigenous plant materials, agricultural and horticultural produce, the famous "kiping" (brightly colored rice wafer molded from mature leaves of various flora used as decoration), including lesser-used forest products. The welcoming ambiance of colorful and ingenious installations of almost extravagantly decorated houses proved that Filipino's are naturally creative at that. Not to mention that a few occasional houses allowed perfect strangers to enter their houses for further picture taking purposes only add to our hospitable and friendly culture.

I guess that being observant and inquisitive in nature enabled me to meticulously identify each item used to clad the houses. What inspired me to continue such effort was the discovery of used parts of indigenous or endemic flora, which was more often unfamiliar to me than being familiar. As such, I found myself to be more in the "plant hunting" mode than just being a spectator. That somehow the predator in me was unleashed and capturing my treasured find became more important than taking pictures of ornately embellished houses.


Maybe somebody can help me identify some of these species? Your input is most welcome!

Anyway, I didn't expect to be walking several blocks of houses that took a series of turns and walking under the intense heat of the sun. Portions of the streets were full of onlookers and passers-by. There were a lot of visitors like me who brought their cameras along with them. I'm sure that some of them would be featuring digital photos into their own blogs or maybe in social internet sites such as facebook and multiply.

One thing that stuck to my mind was that a lot of the participating houses incorporated indigenous and endemic forest products, which were obviously taken from the wild. If this was the case, then would it be right to assume that the remaining forest near this part of town is being raped annually through over collection of fruits, leaves, flowers, branches or even the whole plant itself? How do the locals regulate themselves to ensure of species preservation and conservation for biodiversity to replenish itself? Please don't get me wrong here, but I am only asking how regulation is being implemented. I am only saying that it is possible. Pahiyas is just one among several festivals being celebrated in the Philippines. What about the others that are similar to this type of nature?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Save the Culion Pitogo!

Posters on the left and below are courtesy with permission from Mr. John Lisboa to repost here.


Last March 20, 2011, I discovered two websites highlighting the need to protect and conserve the identity of Culion Island, Palawan. One of which is entitled,
Culion_Palawan_Online (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Culion_Palawan_Online/) and SAVE CYCAS WADEI 'Culion Pitogo' (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=196406500693&v=wall).

Perhaps not known to many Filipino's the genus Cycas is a palm-like plant "often considered a living fossil" according to Wikipedia and among ten species found in the Philippines, nine of which are endemic to our country. One particular species distinct only to Culion Island is known as the Culion Pitogo or scientifically named as Cycas wadei.

The websites initially mentioned has certainly become an eye opener for me as to the status of the Culion pitogo in its native habitat. Being a species that is isolated in specific areas of the island only heightens the fact that the more we should protect it as plant populations can easily be decimated by poachers and illegal traders.

I urge everybody to please check out the links enumerated. Please register and become one in helping our "Culionaire" kababayans in any way we can to protect the endangered Culion pitogo. Read and become aware of the issues that Culion faces.

Note: In the season of Lent some Catholic Filipino's traditionally use the fronds of an exotic species of Cycas, which is Cycas revoluta otherwise known as Oliva. Most of us are not aware, but this particular species which has grown popular demand among landscapers and gardens in the metro originate from Japan..... But why do we Filipino's need a plant such as the Oliva when we have 10 species of pitogo to choose from?

On second thought, those who would want to acquire plants of this genus should take a back seat and read the following links:

- http://www.internationalwildlifelaw.org/DENR36.html
- DENR Administrative Order No. 2010-16 (p.1-7 and p.22 of 46)
- http://www.pcsd.ph/resolutions/resolutions/wildlife/jointao01.htm
- http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/42097/0

In addition to this information, would you believe that according to the link (http://books.google.com.ph/books?id=cjHCoMQNkcgC&pg=PA315&lpg=PA315&dq=carcinogenic+cycas+fruits&source=bl&ots=u_Wncw6LWW&sig=GTolVdMWv8f_uO4dq9149KkyW9k&hl=tl&ei=FnG5TYbHKlmgvgPs-d2iAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false) of page 315, it mentions that, "People who prepare the seeds are subject to a regular direct response to the toxin. The water-soluble toxin is highly carcinogenic and is absorbed through the skin. The toxin consists of several neurotoxins some of which only exists in cycads."

Monday, April 11, 2011

UNIDENTIFIED #1.

This weed / herb is slowly invading a portion of our garden. It probably hitchhiked from other plants that were introduced into the space for about 4-5 years now. This plant has dull green leaves and minute white flowers that only opens during the morning. It is a potential ground cover that produce low-lying runners....... Can anybody help me identify this plant?